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Research Direction generale 
Branch de la recherche 

Technical Bulletin 1984-15E 

Wild and cultivated plants 
poisonous to humans 
in Canada 

A preliminary inventory 

630. 4 


TB 1984-15E 



AUG 6 



O CETHgfWtKic. AL8CBTA jj 


The map on the cover has dots representing 
Agriculture Canada research establishments. 

Wild and cultivated plants 
poisonous to humans 
in Canada 

A preliminary inventory 

Biosystematics Research Institute 
Ottawa, Ontario 

Research Branch 
Agriculture Canada 







1 1) * 





Copies of this publication are available from: 
Biosystematics Research Institute 
Research Branch, Agriculture Canada 
Ottawa, Ontario 

Produced by Research Program Service 

© Minister of Supply and Services Canada 1984 
Cat. No. A54-8/1984-15E 
ISBN 0-662-13586-5 







Appeal to readers/2 
Amaryl Hdaceae (amaryllls fam1ly)/2 
Anacardlaceae (cashew fam1ly)/3 
Annonaceae (custard-apple fam1ly)/3 
Apocynaceae (dogbane fam1ly)/3 
Araceae (arum fam11y)/4 
AraMaceae (aralla fam1ly)/4 
AMstolochlaceae (blrthwort fam11y)/4 
Berberldaceae (barberry fam11y)/4 
Boraglnaceae (borage fam1ly)/5 
Campanulaceae (bellflower fam1ly)/5 
Celastraceae (stafftree fam1ly)/5 
ComposUae (composite fam1ly)/5 
Euphorblaceae (spurge fam1ly)/6 
Glnkgoaceae (ginkgo fam11y)/b 
Hlppocastanaceae (horse-chestnut fam11y)/7 
Lablatae (mint fam1ly)/7 
Legumlnosae (pea fam11y)/7 
L1l1aceae (lily fam1ly)/8 
Loranthaceae (mistletoe fam1ly)/8 
Menlspermaceae (moonseed fam1ly)/8 
Moraceae (mulberry fam1ly)/8 
Oleaceae (olive fam1ly)/9 
Orchldaceae (orchid fam11y)/9 
Papaveraceae (poppy fam11y)/9 
Phytolaccaceae (pokeweed fam1ly)/9 
Polygonaceae (buckwheat fam1ly)/!0 
Polypodlaceae (fern fam1ly)/l0 
Ranunculaceae (crowfoot fam1ly)/l0 
Rhamnaceae (buckthorn fam11y)/10 
Rosaceae (rose fam1ly)/l0 
Rutaceae (rue fam1ly)/ll 
Saxlfragaceae (saxifrage fam1ly)/U 
ScrophulaMaceae (flgwort fam1ly)/ll 
Slmaroubaceae (quassia fam1ly)/U 
Solanaceae (nightshade fam1ly)/ll 
Thymelaeaceae (mezereum fam1ly)/l2 
Umbelllferae (parsley fam1ly)/l3 
Urtlcaceae (nettle fam1ly)/l3 
VUaceae (grape fam1ly)/l4 


This Is the second of two publications providing a preliminary Inventory 
ot native, naturalized, and cultivated vascular plants causing poisoning or 
mechanical Injury to livestock, other animals, and people in Canada. The 
first publication, Vascular plants poisonous to livestock In Canada, 1. A 
preliminary Inventory , was published 1n 1983. This second publication covers 
vascular plants poisonous or causing mechanical Injury to humans. 

The two publications are being distributed to various experts for their 
suggestions on supplementary additions and corrections. Information obtained 
from readers will be utilized 1n a subsequent treatment, which Is to Include 
Illustrations and other Identification aids. Those who have supplementary 
Information or corrections are asked to communicate with the authors at the 
Blosystematlcs Research Institute, Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, 
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6. A limited number of copies of the first publication 
are still avalalble at this address. 


Ce bulletin est le deuxleme volet d'un Inventalre provlsolre des plantes 
vasculalres Indigenes, naturallsees ou cultlvees qui, au Canada, causent des 
Intoxications ou des blessures aux troupeaux d'elevage, a d'autres anlmaux et 
a l'homme. La premiere publication de la serle, Vascular plants poisonous to 
l ivestock 1n Canada, 1. A preliminary Inventory, a paru en 1983. La deuxleme 
tralte des plantes vasculalres qui causent des Intoxications ou des blessures 
a l'homme. 

Les deux bulletins sont dlstrlbues a divers experts afln que ceux-cl y 
apportent des corrections on de nouvelles donnees complementalres. Les 
renselgnements que les lecteurs nous feront parvenlr seront utilises dans une 
publication subsequente qui comprendra des Illustrations et d'autres outlls 
d' Identification. Ceux qui ont des donnees complementalres ou des corrections 
a apporter a la presente publication sont pries de s'adresser aux auteurs, a 
l'lnstltut de recherches blosystematlques , Direction generale de la recherche, 
Agriculture Canada, Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0C6. II reste encore quelques 
exemplalres du premier bulletin qu'on peut obtenlr a l'adresse predtee. 

- 1 - 



There 1s much confusion as to which plants can cause poisoning to humans 
1n Canada. Some general publications dealing with poisonous plants perpetuate 
erroneous Information, do not cite source data, or do not differentiate 
between plants causing serious poisoning problems and those responsible for 
minor or dubious poisonings. The most comprehensive and accurate sources of 
Information on plant poisoning 1n North America are Muenscher (1951), 
Kingsbury (1964), Hardin and Arena (1969), and Klnghorn (1977). Additional 
Information on poisonous plants 1n Canada 1s Included 1n Fyles (1920) and 
Mcintosh (1980). Plants causing hay fever are listed 1n Bassett et al. (1978) 

Plant-Induced poisoning occurs when one or more chemicals present 1n a 
plant produce an undesirable physiological response 1n an Individual. The 
occurrence of poisoning by a particular plant species often varies. Some 
species of plants are toxic only at certain stages of their life cycle whereas 
others are most toxic during only one part of the growing season. In some 
cases the entire plant Is toxic but 1n others only the leaves, seeds, or 
seedlings contain toxic Ingredients. Some plants cause poisoning only when 
toxic elements, such as selenium, occur 1n the soil. Other plants may lose 
their toxins upon drying. Some toxins are so potent that a single mouthful of 
some plants can rapidly cause death. Other toxins are cumulative, the effects 
only becoming evident when the material 1s consumed over a long period. 

The metabolism of Individuals and their ages also determine the degree of 
plant toxicity. Some people are highly allergic to a given plant whereas 
others are Immune or only mildly susceptible. Children generally are poisoned 
by a smaller amount of toxic principle than adults. 

Several broad classes of chemicals are responsible for the toxic reactions 
caused by plants. Organic toxins Include alkaloids, glucosldes, oxalic acid, 
and reslnolds. In addition, Inorganic toxins such as molybdenum, nitrates, 
and selenium, taken up from the soil by some plants, can accumulate In plant 
tissue to toxic levels. Some plants contain substances that can cause 
photosensl tlzatlon In humans. Plant poisons can cause short-term Illness, 
violent sickness, or death. Some plants are suspected of containing 
carcinogens . 

Many poisonings are caused by house plants, cultivated garden plants, and 
ornamentals. However, some are attributable to native or naturalized plants. 
The most commonly reported plant poisonings result from curious children 
eating fruits and plant fragments. 

A review of the available literature has shown that problems exist for 
doctors who have to diagnose and treat cases of plant-Induced poisoning 1n 
Canada. The Initial problem 1s In determining whether the symptoms are Indeed 
caused by plant toxins. The second Is in acquiring a positive Identification 
of the plant Involved. In addition, well-documented literature 1s often not 

2 - 

available on previous cases of poisoning and treatment. Regional poison 
control centers, present 1n various areas of Canada, are the best sources of 

Identification of plants suspected of poisonings can be obtained from 
federal and provincial agencies and universities. When obtaining plant 
material for Identification purposes, try to collect fresh leaves, branches, 
flowers, and fruits. Dry the plant material In a press or put the plants 1n 
newspaper and press under books or bricks 1n a warm dry place. Provide 
Information on the habitat of the plants, the location and the date of the 
collection, symptoms of poisoning, and any other data that seem relevant. 
However, the urgency of the situation may require you to submit fragmentary 
material for Identification. 


Families, genera within each family, and species under each genus are 
listed alphabetically by scientific names. Common English and French names 
are taken, whenever possible, from Common and botanical names of weeds 1n 
Canada/Noms populalres et sdentlf Iques des plantes nulslbles du Canada (Alex 
et al. 1980). Additional French names of cultivated plants come from Noms des 
maladies des plantes du Canada/Names of plant diseases 1n Canada (Agriculture 
Quebec 1975). The general distributions are according to Bolvln (1966, 1967), 
except where more recent Information was available. If a location 1s 
Identified In parentheses, the occurrence of the plant 1n that area has not 
been confirmed. 


This 1s the second of two publications providing a preliminary Inventory 
of native, naturalized, and cultivated vascular plants causing poisoning or 
mechanical Injury to livestock, other animals, and people 1n Canada. The 
first, Vascular plants poisonous to livestock 1n Canada, 1. A preliminary 
Inventory , has already been published (Mulligan and Munro 1983). The two 
publications are being distributed to various experts for their suggestions 
and corrections. Any additional Information sent to the authors by readers 
will be utilized 1n a subsequent treatment, which will Include Illustrations 
and other Identification aids. 



Amaryllis belladonna L. (amaryllls) 

Amaryllis vlttata Alt, (amaryllls) 

Status: Ornamental herbs. 

Toxicity: Sickness and death have been reported after Ingestion of bulbs. 

References: Morton (1962), Lewis and Elv1n-Lew1s (1977). 


Narcissus poetlcus L. (narcissus, narclsse) 

Narcissus pseudonarclssus L. (daffodil, jonqullle) 

- 3 - 

Status: Household and outdoor ornamentals. 

Toxicity: There have been cases of poisoning from Ingestion of bulbs. 
Rare cases of dermatitis have occurred from contact with daffodils. 
References: Wilson (1924), Muenscher (1951). 



Rhus dlversl loba Torr. & Gray (western po1son-oak, sumac de l'Ouest) 

Status and distribution: Native shrub; southwestern B.C. 

Rhus radlcans L. var. nequndo (Greene) G.A. Mulligan (po1son-1vy, herbe a la 

Status and distribution: Native shrub or climbing vine, southern Que., 

southern Ont. 

var. radlcans (eastern po1son-1vy, herbe a la puce de 1 'Est) 
Status and distribution: Native shrub or climbing vine; southern N.S., 

P.E.I. , southern N.B. 

var. rydberqll (Small ex Rydb.) Rehder (Rydberg's po1son-1vy, herbe a 

la puce de Rydberg) 
Status and distribution: Native shrub or trailing vine; N.S., N.B., Que., 

Ont. , Man., Sask. , Alta. , B.C. 
Rhus vernlx L. (poison sumac, sumac a vernls) 

Status and distribution: Small native tree; southern Que., southern Ont. 
Toxicity: Sap from plants produces a severe dermatitis and even death. 
References: McNalr (1921), McNalr (1923), Krause and Weldman (1925), 

Shelmlre (1941), Harlow (1946), Symes and Dawson (1954), Galllard (1956), 

Loev and Dawson (1956), Epstein (1958), Kllgman (1958), Kllngman (1963), 

Mulligan and Junklns (1977), Gu1n (1980), Koch and Leon (1981), Polk 

(1981), Schwartz and Downham (1981). 


As1m1na triloba (L.) Dunal (pawpaw, as1m1n1er triloba) 
Status and distribution: Native tree; southwestern Ont. 

Toxicity: Some people suffer contact dermatitis and others have severe gastro- 
intestinal symptoms after Ingestion of the fruits. 
Reference: Barber (1905). 


Allamanda cathartlca L. (golden-trumpet, trompette dor£e) 

Status: Indoor ornamental climbing shrub. 

Toxicity: The fruit Is considered poisonous, although supporting evidence 1s 

Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 
Nerlum oleander L. (oleander, laurler rose) 
Status: Indoor ornamental shrub. 
Toxicity: Poisoning, death, and occasional cases of dermatitis have been 

References: Halsted (1899), Kingsbury (1964), Der Marderoslan et al. (1976), 

Lewis and Elvln-Lewls (1977). 

4 - 


Arlsaema trlphyllum (L.) Torr. ( Jack-ln-the-pulpH, petlt-pr&cheur ) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., 

southern Man. 
Toxicity: Intense burning of the throat and mouth occurs 1f the rhizome 

1s Ingested. 
References: Muenscher (1951), Kingsbury (1964). 


Dleffenbachla amoena Gentll (giant dumbcane, arum veneneux) 
D1effenbach1a bausel Regel (dumbcane, dleffenbachla) 
Dleffenbachla plcta Schott (spotted dumbcane, dleffenbachla tachetee) 
Status: Indoor ornamentals. 

Toxicity: Sickness and Irritation of the mouth, which may Interfere with 
swallowing or breathing, have occurred from Ingestion of leaves and 
stems. The name dumbcane refers to paralysis of throat muscles caused 
by calcium oxalate crystals. 
References: Barnes and Fox (1955), Pohl (1961), O'Leary and Hyattsvllle 
(1964), Walter and Khanna (1972), Der Marderoslan et al. (1976), Lampe 
(1978), Ardlttl and Rodriguez (1982). 
M onstera dellclosa Hebrn. (Swiss-cheese plant, phllodendron monstera) 
Status: Indoor ornamental climber. 
Toxicity: Severe Irritation and allergy occur after Ingestion of leaves or 

stems . 
References: Webb (1984), Der Marderoslan et al. (1976), Lewis and Elvln- 
Lewls ( I977). 


Hedera helix L. (English 1vy, Herre commun) 
Status: Outdoor and Indoor ornamental vine. 
Toxicity: Cases of poisoning have been reported from Ingesting leaves and 

berries. Some Individuals develop severe dermatitis from touching the 

leaves . 
References: Muenscher (1951), Forsyth (1968), Kingsbury (1964). 


As arum canadense L. (wild ginger, asaret du Canada) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; N.B., Que., Ont., southern Man. 

Toxicity: A few cases of dermatitis have been reported from contact with 

Reference: Muenscher (1951). 


Podophyllum peltatum L. (may-apple, podophylle pelte) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; N.S., southwestern Que., southern Ont 

- 5 - 

1'oxlcUy: There Is one recorded case ot poisoning from Ingestion of young 
shoots. Ingestion of the fruits occasionally causes catharsis. 

References: Ml 1 ispaugh (1887), Kaymakcalan (1964), Kingsbury (1964), Der 
Marderoslan et al . (1976) . 


Echlum vulqare L. (blueweed, vlperlne) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; Nfld., N.S., N.B., Que., Ont., 

Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Contact with bristly hairs on the leaves and stems can produce 

severe skin Inflammation and Itching 1n some people. 
Reference: Muenscher (1951). 



Lobelia cardlnalls L. (cardlnalf lower , lobelle du cardinal) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; N.B., Que., Ont. 

Lobelia Inflata L. (Indian-tobacco, lobelle gonf lee) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; N.S., P.E.I., N.B., Que., Ont., 

southern B.C. 
Lobelia s1ph1 11t1ca L. (blue cardlna If lower , cardlnale bleue) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; Ont. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death occurred m pioneer days after Ingestion of 

these plants for medicinal purposes. 
References: M1 I Ispaugh (1887). 



E uonymus atropurpureus Jacq. (burnlngbush, fusaln) 

Euonymus europaeus L. (European splndletree, fusaln d'Europe) 

Status: Outdoor ornamental shrubs. 

Toxicity: Poisoning has occurred 1n Europe after Ingestion of berries. 

Reference: Long (1917). 


EupatoMum ruqosum Houtt. (white snakeroot, eupatolre rugueuse) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; central N.S., N.B., Que., Ont. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred after Ingestion of milk from 

cows that have eaten white snakeroot. This problem has essentially 

disappeared since early this century. 
References: Moseley (1906), Jordan and Harris (1909), Wolf et al. (1918), 

Couch (1927), Hansen (1928), Couch (1933), Moseley (1941). 
Iva xanthUolla Nutt. (false ragweed, fausse herbe a poux) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., Man. 

Sask. , Alta. , B.C. 

Toxicity: Some people develop dermatitis after coming In contact with the 

Reference: Muenscher (1951). 


Codlaeum varlegatum (L.) Blume (croton, croton ou codler) 

Status: Ornamental shrub or small tree. 

Toxicity: Ingestion of bark and roots has caused dermatitis. 

References: Morton (1962). 


Euphorbia cyparlsslas L. (cypress spurge, euphorbe cypres) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb, sometimes grown as outdoor 

ornamental; Nfld., P.E.I. , N.S., N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Alta., B.C. 
Euphorbia esula L. (leafy spurge, euphorbe esule) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; P.E.I. , N.S., N.B., Que., Ont., 

Man. , Sask. , Alta. , B.C. 
Euphorbia heUoscopla L. (sun spurge, euphorbe r6ve1 lle-matln) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., 

Sask. , Alta. , B.C. 
E uphorbia lactea Haw, (candelabra-cactus) 
Status: Ornamental shrub. 
Euphorbia lathyrls L. (caper spurge) 

Status and distribution: Ornamental herb, also naturalized 1n B.C. 
Euphorbia ml 111 Ch. des Moullns (crown-of-thorns, couronne d'eplnes) 
Status: Indoor ornamental. 

Euphorbia peplus L. (petty spurge, euphorbe des jardlns) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; Nfld., N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., 

Ont., Man., Sask. , B.C. 
Euphorbia tlrucalll L. (pendltree) 
Status: Ornamental tree. 
Toxicity: The Juice of these plants can cause dermatitis or even death 

1f Ingested. 
References: Long (1917), Campbell et al. (1956), Kingsbury (1964), Frankton 

and Mulligan (1970), Worobec et al. (1981). 
Rlclnus communis L. (castor-bean) 
Status: Ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: Ingestion of only two to four seeds has caused death 1n adults. 
Reference: Mal1z1a et al. (1977), Mcintosh (1980). 


Ginkgo blloba L. (maidenhair tree, ginkgo) 

Status: Ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: Severe dermatitis has occurred from handling broken or crushed 

Reference: Muenscher (1951). 

- 7 - 


Aesculus hlppocastanum L. (horse-chestnut, marronnler) 

Status: Outdoor ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: Children have been poisoned after Ingestion of nuts 1n Europe. 

Reference: Muenscher (1951). 


Leonurus cardlaca L. (motherwort, agrlpaume cardlaque) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., 

Man., Sask., B.C. 
Toxicity: Some Individuals develop dermatitis after contact with the leaves. 
Reference: Muenscher (1951). 


Abrus precatorlus L. (precatory-pea) 

Status: Imported seeds. 

Toxicity: Seeds are used 1n necklaces and bracelets which occasionally 

are brought Into Canada. One Ingested seed 1s fatal to an adult. 
References: Taylor (1962), Gunn (1969), Nlyogl (1970), Davis (1978), Mcintosh 

(1980), Hoy and Catling (1981). 
Gymnocladus dlolcus (L.) K. Koch (Kentucky coffeetree, chlcot du Canada) 
Status: Ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: A woman was poisoned as the result of eating the fruit pulp. 
Reference: Chesnut (1898). 

Laburnum anagyroldes Medic, (golden-chain, cytlse) 
Status: Ornamental shrub or small tree. 
Toxicity: Golden-chain Is considered the second most poisonous tree 1n 

Britain. Sickness and death have occurred from Ingesting plant parts. 
References: Long (1917), Forsyth (1968). 
Roblnla pseudoacacla L. (black locust, roblnler faux-acacla) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized shrub or tree, sometimes grown as an 

ornamental; N.S., (P.E.I. ), Que., Ont., B.C. 
Toxicity: Sickness has occurred 1n children after Ingestion of the 

seeds and Inner bark of black locust. 
References: Emery (1887), Mlllspaugh (1887). 
Thermopsls rhomblfolla (Nutt.) Richards, (golden-bean) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; Man., Sask., B.C. 
Toxicity: Seeds have been Implicated In poisoning of children 1n Western 

Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 
Wisteria spp. (wisteria, glycine) 
Status: Woody ornamental twiners. 
Toxicity: Poisoning has occurred 1n children after the Ingestion of seeds 

or pods . 
References: Anonymous (1961), Jacobzlner and Raybln (1961b), Kingsbury (1964) 

- 8 - 


Convallarla majalls L. ( 11 ly-of-the-val ley, muguet) 

Status: Outdoor ornamental herb. 

Toxicity: Sickness has occurred. A child was reported to have died from 

drinking the water 1n which 11 ly-of-the-val ley had been standing. All 

parts of the plant are considered toxic. 
References: Kingsbury (1964), O'Leary and Hyattsvllle (1964). 
Glorlosa superba L. (glory Uly) 
Status: Ornamental climber. 

Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred after Ingestion of tubers. 
Reference: Steyn (1934). 

Veratrum vlrlde Alt, (false hel lebore, hellebore) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; Y.T., Nfld., N.B., Que., Alta., B.C. 
loxldty: Sickness and death have occasionally occurred from Ingestion of 

fa Ise hel lebore. 
References: Underhlll (1959), Turner (1978) 

Zlqadenus eleqans Pursh (white camas; zlgadene elegant) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; MacKenzle dlst., Y.T., N.B., Que., 

Ont., Man., Sask. , Alta. , B.C. 
Zlqadenus qramlneus Rydb. (death camas, zlgadene vSneneux) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; southern Sask., southern Alta., 

southern B.C. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred after Ingestion of bulbs. 
References: Marsh et al. (1915), Cameron (1952), Spoerke and Spoerke (1979) 


Phoradendron flavescens (Pursh.) Nutt. (American mistletoe) 

Status: Sold around Christmas time. 

Toxicity: Poisoning and death have occurred after Ingestion of the berries. 

References: Hymans (1898), Cann and Verhulst (1959). 


Menlspermum canadense L. (moonseed) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; southwestern Que., Ont., southern 

Toxicity: Poisoning and death have been attributed to Ingestion of the 

grapelike fruits. 
References: Schaffner (1903), Gress (1935). 


Maclura pomUera (Raf.) C.K. Schneld. (Osage-orange, bols d'arc) 
Status: Small ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: Some people develop dermatitis from contact with the milky sap. 
Reference: Muenscher (1951). 

9 - 


Llgustrum vulgare L. (common privet, troene commun) 

Status: Ornamental shrub. 

Toxicity: Poisoning has occurred In children after Ingestion of the berries. 

Reference: Long (1934). 



Cyprlpedlum acaule Alt. (pink lady's-sllpper , cyprlpede acaule) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; (MacKenzle dlst.), Nfld., N.S., 

N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta. 
Cyprlpedlum calceolus L. (yellow lady's-sllpper , cyprlpede Soulier) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; MacKenzle dlst., (Y.T.), Nfld., 

N.S., N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Cyprlpedlum reglnae Walt, (showy lady's-sllpper, cyprlpede royal) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; Nfld., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., Man. 
Toxicity: Dermatitis develops 1n some people after they touch the glandular 

hairs on these orchids. 
References: Halsted (1899), Muenscher (1951), Reddoch and Reddoch (1984). 


Che11don1um ma jus L. (greater celandine, grande chelldolne) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; (Nfld., N.S.), P.E.I., N.B., Que., 

Toxicity: Severe Irritation, gastrointestinal problems, and death have occur- 

Reference: Bandellne and Malesh (1956). 


Papaver nudlcaule L. (Iceland poppy, pavot d'Islande) 

Papaver orlentale L. (oriental poppy, pavot d'Orlent) 

Papaver rhoeas L. (corn poppy, pavot coquellcot) 

Papaver somnlferum L. (opium poppy, pavot somnlfere) 

Status: Ornamental herbs, occasionally escapes from cultivation. 

Toxicity: Popples contain many toxic substances 1n the foliage and fruiting 
pods . 

Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 


Phytolacca amerlcana L. (pokeweed, phytolaque d'Amerlque) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; southwestern Que., southwestern Ont. 

Toxicity: Poisoning and death have occurred. 

References: French (1900), Sauer (1950). 



Rheum rhapontlcum L. (rhubarb, rhubarbe) 

Status: Perennial crop plant. 

Toxicity: Poisoning and death have been reported after Ingestion of the 

leaf blades. 
References: Anonymous (1917), Robb (1919), Culpepper and Moon (1933). 


Pterldlum aqul Unum (L.) Kuhn (bracken, grande fougere) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; Nfld., N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que. 

Ont. , Man., Alta. , B.C. 
Toxicity: Although It 1s often considered edible, recent evidence Indicates 

that bracken 1s carcinogenic. 
References: Cody and Crompton (1975), Evans (1976), Pamucku et al. (1977). 


Caltha palustMs L. (marsh-marigold, populage des marals) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; Keewatln and MacKenzle dlsts., Nfld., 

N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Sickness has occurred In Europe after Ingestion of leaves. 
Reference: Long (1917). 

Ranunculus bulbosus L. (bulbous buttercup, renoncule bulbeuse) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; Nfld., N.S., (Que.), Ont., (B.C.) 
Toxicity: Poisoning of children occurred 1n England after Ingestion of the 

bulbous portion of plants. 
Reference: Forsyth (1968). 



Rhamnus cathartlca L. (European buckthorn, nerprun commun) 

Status and distribution: Small naturalized tree; N.S., P.E.I. , (N.B.), 

Que. , Ont. , Man. , Sask. 
Rhamnus franqula L. (alder buckthorn, nerprun bourdalne) 
Status and Identification: Small naturalized shrub or tree; N.S., P.E.I. , 

N.B. , Que., Ont. , Man. 
Toxicity: Rare cases of poisoning have been reported 1n Europe. Buckthorns 

contain substances with laxative properties. 
Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 



Prunus serotlna Ehrh. (black cherry, cerlsler tardlf) 

Status and distribution: Native tree, occasionally planted tor wood; N.S., 
P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont. 

- 11 - 

Toxicity: People have died after Ingesting seeds In fruit, from chewing 

twigs, or from making tea from leaves. 
References: Chesnut (1898), Hardin and Arena (1969), Mulligan and Munro 

Prunus vlrglnlana L. (chokecherry, cerlsler de Vlrglnle) 
Status and distribution: Native shrub; MacKenzle dlst., Nfld., N.S., P.E.I. , 

N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Poisoning and death have occurred 1n children who ate large 

quantities of fruits without removing seeds. 
References: Pardee (1847), Pljoan (1942), Mulligan and Munro (1981b). 


Dlctamnus albus L. (gasplant) 

Status: Ornamental herb. 

Toxicity: Photosensl tlzatlon occasionally results after touching parts of 

gasplant, especially the seedpods. Reddish patches and blisters may occur 

for weeks on the skin. 
References: Cummer and Dexter (1937), Henderson and DesGrosel 1 Hers (1984). 


Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser. (hydrangea, hortensla) 
Status: Woody ornamental. 

Toxicity: Ingestion of leaves and roots has caused Illness. 
References: O'Leary and Hyattsvllle (1964), Apted (1973), Der Marderoslan 
et al. (1976). 


D1q1ta 11s purpurea L. (foxglove, dlgltale pourpre) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb, sometimes cultivated; Nfld., 

N.S., Ont., B.C. 
Toxicity: Children have become sick after Ingestion of flowers, seeds, or 

Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 


Allanthus alt1ss1ma (Mill.) Swingle (tree-of-heaven, frene puant) 

Status: Ornamental tree. 

Toxicity: Several cases of dermatitis have been reported In the United 

States from contact with the leaves. 
Reference: Muenscher (1951). 


Cestrum nocturnum L. (night-blooming jessamine) 

Status: Ornamental shrub. 

Toxicity: Sickness has occurred after Ingestion of this plant. 

- 12 

Reference: Morton (1958). 

D atura stramonium L. (jlmsonweed, stramolne commune) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., 

Sask., Alta. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred from Ingestion of plant parts. 
References: Beverly (1705), Garvin and Ruh (1923), Jennings (1935), Hughes 

and Clark (1939), Goldberg (1951), Stiles (1951), Mitchell and Mitchell 

(1955), Jacobzlner and Raybln (1960), Jacobzlner and Raybln (1961a), 

M1kol1ch (1975), Levy (1976), Moore (1976). 
N1cot1ana tabacum L. (tobacco, tabac) 
Status: Cultivated herb. 

Toxicity: Poisoning has occurred from Ingestion of fresh leaves. 
Reference: Kingsbury (1964). 
Physalls peruviana L. (ground-cherry, coqueret) 
Status: Ornamental herb. 

loxldty: Unopened fruits are considered poisonous. 
Reference: Arnold (1944). 

Solanum dulcamara L. (climbing nightshade, morelle douce-amere) 
Status and distribution: Native woody vine; Nfld., N.S., P.E.I., Que., Ont., 

Man., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Berries of climbing nightshade may have caused poisoning of 

children 1n one case. This plant has since been considered poisonous and 

caution should be taken In cases of Ingestion of berries. 
Reference: Harshberger (1920). 
Solanum tuberosum L. (potato, pomme de terre) 
Status: Vegetable. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred after Ingestion of green-skinned 

potatoes, which can contain a toxic concentration of the chemical solanlne 
Reference: Hansen (1925). 



Daphne cneorum L. (garland daphne) 

D aphne laureola L. (spurge-laurel) 

Daphne mezereum L. (February daphne, daphne jollbols) 

Status: Ornamental shrubs. 

Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred. Ingestion of only a few berries 

has resulted 1n poisoning of children. 
References: Fyles (1920), Kingsbury (1961). 
Dlrca palustrls L. ( leatherwood, dlrca des marals) 
Status and distribution: Native shrub; N.B., Que., Ont. 
Toxicity: Some people have developed severe Irritation and blistering of 

skin as a result of handling the bark. 
Reference: Muenscher (1951). 

- 13 - 



Clcuta doug1as11 (DC.) Coult. & Rose (western water-hemlock, clcutalre pourpre) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; B.C. 

Clcuta maculata L. (spotted water-hemlock, carotte a Moreau) 

Status and distribution: Native herb; MacKenzle dlst., Y.T., N.S., P.E.I., 

N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Clcuta vlrosa L. (northern water-hemlock, clcutalre du Nord) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; MacKenzle dlst., Y.T., northern parts 

of Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred In children and adults as the 

result of Ingestion of the rootstocks. 
References: Pamme I (1921), Haggerty and Conway (1936), Frankton (1955), 

Kingsbury (1964), Robson (1965), Campbell (1966), Starreveld and Hope 

(1975), Carlton et al. (1979), Mulligan and Munro (1981a). 
Conlum maculatum L. (poison-hemlock, dgtle maculee) 

Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; N.S., Que., Ont., Sask., B.C. 
Toxicity: Sickness and death have occurred after Ingestion of leaves, roots, 

and seeds. 
References: Pamrnel (1919), Muenscher (1951), Kingsbury (1964). 
Heracleum mantegazzlanum Somm. & Levler (giant hogweed, berce du Caucase) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; south-central Ont. 
Toxicity: Humans can be photosensitized when handling of the leaves 1s 

followed by exposure to sunlight. This results In a rash and persistent 

References: Morton (1975), Gunby (1980). 
Pastlnaca satlva L. (wild parsnip; panals sauvage) 
Status and distribution: Naturalized herb; Y.T., Nfld., N.S., P.E.I., N.B., 

Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
toxicity: Some humans acquire dermatitis after contact with the leaves, 

flowers, or fruits. 
References: Muenscher (1951), Hardin and Arena (1969), Iv1e et al. (1981). 


Laportea canadensis (L.) Gaud. (Canada nettle, laportea du Canada) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; N.S., N.B., Que., Ont., Sask. 
Symptoms: Hairs contain toxic lulces which cause Intense Itching and pain. 
Reference: Mcintosh (1980). 

Urtlca dlolca L. (American stinging nettle; ortle dlofque d'Amerlque) 
Status and distribution: Native herb; MacKenzle dlst., Y.T., Lab., Nfld., 

N.S., P.E.I. , N.B., Que., Ont., Man., Sask., Alta., B.C. 
Toxicity: Contact with hairs, containing toxic lulces, causes Intense Itching 

and pain. 
References: Willis (1969), Bassett et al. (1977), Mcintosh (1980). 

14 - 


P arthenoclssus qu1nquefo11a (L.) Planch. (Virginia creeper, vlgne vlerge) 
Status and distribution: Native climbing vine; (N.S.), N.B., P.E.I., Que., 

Ont. , Man. 
Toxicity: Ingestion of the berries has supposedly caused the death of 

children 1n a few cases, although evidence Is circumstantial. 
Reference: Kingsbury (1961). 


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- 15 - 

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16 - 

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- 17 - 

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- 18 - 

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Contact Dermatitis 7:19-22. 

- 19 - 


Abrus precatorlus /7 

Aesculus hlppocastanum /7 

agrlpaume card1aque/7 

Allanthus alt1ss1ma /ll 

Allamanda cathart1ca /3 



amary 111s faml ly/2 

Amaryllis belladonna /2 

Amary 1 lis vUtata/2 





aralla family/4 


Arlsaema trlphyllum/4 


arum faml ly/4 

arum v£n£neux/4 

asaret du Canada/4 

Asarum canadense /4 

Aslmlna tnioba /3 

aslmlnler tr1lobeY3 

barberry fam1ly/4 

bellflower family/5 


berce du Caucase/13 

blrthwort fam1ly/4 


bols d'arc/8 

borage faml ly/5 



buckthorn, alder/10 

buckthorn, European/10 

buckthorn faml ly/10 

buckwheat faml ly/10 


buttercup, bulbous/10 

Caltha pa!ustr1s /10 

camas, death/8 

camas, wh1te/8 



cardlnale bleue/5 

cardlna If lower/5 

cardlnalf lower, blue/5 
carotte a Moreau/13 
cashew faml ly/3 
celandine, greater/9 
cerlsler de V1rg1n1e/1 1 
cerlsler tardlf/10 
Cestrum nocturnum/11 
ch£Hdo1ne, grande/9 
Chelldonlum ma 3 us /9 
cherry, black/10 
chlcot du Canada/7 
chokecherry/1 1 
Clcuta douqlasl 1 /13 
Clcuta maculata /13 
Clcuta vlrosa /13 
dcutalre du Nord/13 
dgt/e mac u lee/ 13 
Codlaeum var1eqatum /6 

coffeetree, Kentucky/7 
Compos 1tae/5 
composite fam1ly/5 
Conlum maculatum /13 
Convallarla majalls /8 
couronne d'£p1nes/6 

crowfoot faml ly/10 
custard-apple fam1ly/3 
cyprlpede acaule/9 
cyprlpede roya le/9 
cyprlpede soul1er/9 
Cypr1ped1um acaule /9 
Cypr1ped1um reg1nae /9 
Daphne cneorum /12 
daphne, February/12 
daphne, garland/12 
daphne, jollbols/12 
Daphne laureola /12 
Daphne mezereum /12 
Datura stramonium /12 
Dlctamnus albus/1 1 

- 20 - 

dleff enbachla/4 
Dleffenbachla amoena /4 
Dleffenbachla bausel /4 
Dleffenbachla p1cta /4 
dleffenbachla tachetee/4 
dlgl tale pourpre/11 
Digitalis purpurea /11 
dlrca des marals/12 
D1rca palustr Is /1 2 
dogbane family/3 
dumbcane, g1ant/4 
dumbcane, spotted/4 
Echlum vulqare /5 
euphorbe cypres/6 
euphorbe des jard1ns/6 
euphorbe esule/6 
euphorbe revel 1 le-mat1n/6 
Euphorbia cypar1ss1as /6 
Euphorbia esula /6 
Euphorbia he!1oscop1a /6 
Euphorbia lactea /6 
Euphorbia lathyr 1 s /6 
Euphorbia ml 111 /6 
Euphorbia pep lus /6 
Euphorbia t1rucal!1 /6 
Euonymus atropurpureus /5 
Euonymus europaeus /5 
eupatolre regueuse/5 
Eupatorlum rugosum /5 
fern family/10 
Mgwort fam1ly/ll 
fougere, grande/10 
foxglove/1 1 
fr§ne puant/1 1 

fusaln d'Europe/5 
gasplant/1 1 
ginger, w1ld/4 
Ginkgo b1loba /6 
ginkgo fam1ly/6 
Glorlosa superba /8 
go lden-cha1n/7 

grape tami ly/14 


Gymnocladus dlolcus /7 

Hedera hel1x /4 


hellebore, false/8 

Heracleum mantegazzlanum /13 

herbe a la puce/3 

herbe a la puce de 1 'Est/3 

herbe a la puce de Rydberg/3 

herbe a poux, fausse/5 


hogweed, giant/13 


horse-chesnut fam1ly/7 


hydrangea/1 1 

Hydrangea macrophylla /1 1 


Iva xanthlfolla /5 

1vy, Engl1sh/4 


Jessamine, n1ght-bloom1ng/l 1 

J 1msonweed/l2 



Laburnum anagyroldes /7 

lady's-s Upper , pink/9 

lady's-s Upper , showy/9 

lady' s-s Upper , yellow/9 

Laportea canadensis /13 

laportea du Canada/13 

laurler rose/3 



Leonurus card1aca /7 

Herre commun/4 

Llqustrum vulgare /9 


11 ly fam1ly/8 

Uly, glory/8 


Lobelia cardinal 1s /5 

Lobelia 1nflata /5 

Lobelia s1ph1 11 t1ca /5 

lobeUe du card1nal/5 

lobeUe gonfl^e/5 

locust, black/7 


Maclura pom1fera /8 

21 - 


maidenhair tree/6 




Menlspermum canadense /8 

mezereum faml ly/12 

mint fam1ly/7 

mistletoe, Amer1can/8 

mistletoe fam1ly/8 

Monstera de!1c1osa /4 


moonseed fam1ly/8 


morelle douce-amere/12 



mulberry fam1ly/8 


Narcissus poetlcus /2 

Narcissus pseudonardssus /2 

Nerlum oleander /3 

nerprun bourdalne/10 

nerprun commun/10 

nettle, American st1ng1ng/l3 

nettle, Canada/13 

nettle family/13 

Nlcotlana tabacum /12 

nightshade, cHmblng/12 

nightshade f ami ly/1 1 



olive fam1ly/9 

orchid fam1ly/9 


ortle dlofque d'AmeMque/13 


panals sauvage/13 

Papaver nudlcaule /9 

Papaver or1enta1e /9 

Papaver rhoeas /9 

Papaver somn1ferum /9 


parsley family/13 

parsnip, wild/13 

Parthenodssus qulnquefolla /14 

Pastlnaca satlva /13 

pavot coquel1cot/9 

pavot d'Islande/9 

pavot d'Orlent/9 

pavot somn1fere/9 


pea fam1ly/7 


petl t-prGcheur/4 

phllodendron monstera/4 

Phoradendron f lavescens /8 

Physalls peruviana /12 

Phytolacca amer1cana /9 


phytolaque d'Am£r1que/9 


podophylle pelte/4 

Podophyllum peltatum /4 



po1son-1vy, eastern/3 

po1son-1vy, Rydberg's/3 

po1son-oak, western/3 

poison sumac/3 


pokeweed fam1ly/9 



pomme de terre/12 

poppy, corn/9 

poppy family/9 

poppy, Iceland/9 

poppy, op1um/9 

poppy, or1ental/9 

populage des marals/10 



privet, common/9 

Prunus serotlna /10 

Prunus vlrqlnlana /1 1 

Pter1d1um aqul 11num /10 

quassia f ami ly/1 1 

ragweed, false/5 


Ranunculus bulbosus /10 

renoncule bulbeuse/10 


Rhamnus cathartlca /10 

Rhamnus franqula /10 

Rheum rhapontlcum /10 



Rhus d1vers11oba /3 

Rhus radlcans var. nequndo /3 


Rhus radlcans var. radlcans /3 

Rhus radlcans var. rydberq11 /3 

Rhus vern1x /3 

Rlclnus communis /6 

Roblnla pseudoacada /7 

roblnler faux-acacla/7 


rose famly/10 

rue family/1 1 

Rutaceae/1 1 


saxifrage faml ly/1 1 



snakeroot, white/5 


Solanum dulcamara /12 

Solanum tuberosum /12 

splndletree, European/5 

spurge, caper/6 

spurge, cypress/6 

spurge faml ly/6 


spurge, leafy/6 

spurge, petty/6 

spurge, sun/6 

stafftree fam1ly/5 

stramolne commune/12 

sumac a vern1s/3 

sumac de 1 'Ouest/3 

Swiss-cheese plant/4 


Thermopsls rhomb1fo11a /7 



tree-of-heaven/1 1 

troene commun/9 

trompette doree/3 


Urtlca d1o1ca /13 


Veratrum v1r1de /8 

vlgne vlerge/14 


Virginia creeper/14 


water-hemlock, northern/13 

water-hemlock, spotted/13 

water-hemlock, western/13 


Wisteria spp./7 
zlgadene elegant/8 
zlgadene ven£neux/8 
Zlqadenus eleqans /8 
Zlqadenus qram1neus /8